Avoid The Pitfalls Of Kids & Halloween

Pediatric Dentistry for Avon, Connecticut

A Few Tips For Handling The Concerns of Halloween & Kid's Teeth

The Mother of all kid's holiday's (other than their own birthday, of course) is Halloween. Think about it… you dress up in fun costumes, hang out with your best friends and canvas the neighborhood in search of sweets that people just give away. What's not to like? Well, as a parent there are a few concerns with Halloween regarding safety and eating habits. As a parent it's understandable to be concerned about Halloween but you need to find a careful balance between being cautious and still allowing your kids to have fun on this great holiday.

Here are a few tips for handling the concerns that are sure to arise:

Set Some Ground Rules

Before you let your kids out for the day or night have a sit down with them and lay out the ground rules. You don't want to be the buzz kill parent that ruins the holiday but for safety's sake you do want to establish some rules that need to be understood and obeyed. Agreeing on the time they can spend trick-or-treating, when they need to be back home and where they are allowed to go are good ideas. Make sure they understand the rules are for their own safety and disobeying any of the rules will come with consequences. Don't be harsh with your rules and reinforce that more fun will be had when they follow these rules.

Candy 101

Halloween is all about the treats. There's no avoiding the fact that chocolate, gummy bears, gum and lollipops will be everywhere. Don't be the stick in the mud that forbids any candy but instead make a deal with your kids that they need to bring the candy haul home first before indulging their sweet tooth. As a parent you will surely be concerned about what strangers are handing out and for good reason. The news always reports about kid's bringing home odd and even dangerous items on Halloween and you are not being unreasonable by insisting that the candy your children receive will need to be inspected first.

Frequency

For the sake of your children's teeth, it's important to stress how often the candy is eaten, not so much the quantity. Each time a piece of candy is placed into the mouth, the sugar combines with the plaque (bacteria) on the teeth, and acid is formed. This acid, when repeatedly exposed to the surface of the teeth, over time, is what dissolves the enamel and creates holes (cavities) in the teeth.

Your child is better off eating one large pile of Halloween treats (one acid attack), rather than splitting that large pile into many small piles which are then consumed multiple times over the course of many days (many acid attacks). The plaque is only capable of producing a finite amount of acid per "candy episode." Much less damage occurs when your child eats one large pile, compared to the repeated acid exposure of frequent "candy episodes," even if the repeated episodes consist of a single piece of candy. "Today is Halloween; let's eat your candy now. Tomorrow it's over."

For expert care and treatment of cavities in your children, call one of our offices:

West Hartford: 860-523-4213
North Windham: 860-456-0506
Unionville: 860-673-3900

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David Epstein
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15 Dec 2018 12:56 PM